White Sox 8, Twins 6
CHICAGO (AP)—Juan Uribe made sure his family’s trip from the Dominican Republic was a memorable one.
With his parents and wife in the stands, Uribe hit his first career grand slam Tuesday night, a pinch-hit shot in the seventh inning that sent the Chicago White Sox to an 8-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
“I’ve got a lot of happiness,” Uribe said, still grinning after the game. “I’m happy my family got a chance to see me.”
Now that the Twins have clinched the division, manager Ron Gardenhire is trying to get his regulars occasional nights off. Torii Hunter and Shannon Stewart were on the bench Tuesday, but the Minnesota backups showed they’ve got some game, too.
But it wasn’t enough because the Twins’ bullpen couldn’t hold the lead in the seventh inning.
Uribe came in to pinch-hit and Jesse Crain relieved. Crain had allowed a run in only one of his previous 11 appearances, but Uribe drove a 3-1 pitch into the left-field stands for the grand slam.
It also was his 20th homer of the season, double his previous career high. Uribe wore a big smile as he rounded the bases, and White Sox fans gave him a standing ovation.
“I’m happy the White Sox gave me a chance,” said Uribe, who was traded to Chicago in the offseason after an inconsistent stint in Colorado.
“It’s important to keep winning baseball games,” Gardenhire said. “We ran a good lineup out there and we scored plenty of runs. We just didn’t pitch good enough tonight.”
With Magglio Ordonez and Frank Thomas out, Konerko has carried Chicago’s offense all year. His solo homer in the first inning was his 40th of the season, and put him in rare company in Chicago’s offensive history.
Belle and Thomas (1993, 1995-96, 2000, 2003) are the only other White Sox to hit 40 or more homers, with Belle setting the franchise record with 49 in 1998.
“I look at it like when I went to the All-Star game. No matter what happens after, I’ll always have it,” Konerko said. “But it’s kind of empty a little bit because it doesn’t matter with what’s going on. I’m happy with the season that I’ve had, but I’ll be more happy when I can match a season like this up with a team that is going to the playoffs.”
The Twins eliminated the White Sox from postseason contention when they clinched the division Monday night.
Kubel broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run homer off Jon Garland in the sixth. It was the first career homer for the promising rookie, who hit .377 at Double-A and .343 at Triple-A before being called up on Aug. 31.
“It felt good, but it doesn’t mean anything unless we win,” Kubel said. “So it could have been better.”
Uribe’s homer was Chicago’s fourth by a pinch-hitter this year. It was the team’s first pinch-hit grand slam since Joe De Sa did it on Sept. 12, 1985. … Uribe’s slam also was Chicago’s 133rd homer at home this season, a franchise record. … Twins starter Kyle Lohse tied a season high with six walks.